Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, Myself, Random

Rigor and Accountability

Recently, a dear friend asked me my secret to my “rigor” i.e. my commitment to my vision to the various areas of my life. For a while, I didn’t know how to answer that question because to be quite honest, most days I feel like I am playing catch up. It’s easy to disregard the tasks that got done and compare myself to my large declarations for the year. I forget that to eat a whole pie, one has to start with the first diet (oh yeah, I love food).

Each morning, I wake up to a choice. stay put or move forward. There are days I go back to bed, but more often than not, I get up and begin my morning ritual of morning pages, meditation, morning reading, dog walking and sometimes the gym. I do it not out of obligation but the fervent belief in my vision: to be the best version of myself in all areas of my life.  I really sat with that. It wasn’t a wish or a desire. Well, it could be if I did nothing to make my vision come true. You see, vision doesn’t have to be specific, but it takes specific action to realize your vision.  To that end, I now have an accountability group that cares not only about my vision, but is more than willing to call me up when I am not feeling 100%.  I also use a planner, a time for tasks, google sheets to keep abreast on pending tasks and goal. I use many tools to ensure I am on task.

The past few weeks have not been easy as good friends are dealing with personal losses, and I wish I could do more to be in service to them. It’s tempting to lose focus, and allow the day to happen. And I admit there is time like that, but when I take time to reflect, to remember my reasons for being, I can do much for others when my heart is full.  There will be always be a crisis going on. Always a loss. Always something that pulls you toward an issue not of your making, and it’s remembering time and time again that if I am not fulfilled, if I am not committed to my vision, I will not be the best person for those tough situations.

So I train each day. I get up. I focus. I make declarations, and hope that I get to all of them. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Rigor isn’t about getting shit done, but it’s about checking in what it is that I want my life to be. It’s about knowing that I never gave up on myself. That I get to be my word to myself first because if I am not in integrity to myself, how can I believe i can be of service to others? So I get up. Kick ass. Then repeat.

Happy Monday!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, Myself, Random

Integrity is Cheap

Monday mornings. A time I cherish. A time to reset, to consider, to take a hard look at my declarations. To drill down to what worked, what didn’t and what was in the gap. To review my various Google sheets and ask if I am in line with my vision. Some Mondays are not pretty. I see task after task and other idealistic declarations untouched week after week. And I realize that it’s easy to state things without a plan, or a real buy in. Easy to say I will become a published writer, or grow my business but then not have a deadline or a specific task to make it happen.

I find it’s easy to lie to myself. To make excuses, or justify that I am doing well in other areas. Easy to give myself a break, to let myself off the hook, to not be in integrity with myself or my vision.

Vision. That word keeps coming up in my life more and more. As I get closer to the big 5-0, I am motivated to complete some long standing dreams. To do a pull up. To run a Marathon. To be a published author. To be a successful law practice. To travel the world with my wife. To keep deep connections with family and friends. To be in service. To try new things. And yet, some things come easy, and others I just putting up over and over again.

So integrity to myself has become cheap. I cover it up with other actions, and stories that I am doing all that I can when I know there is so much time I waste on things and people who don’t serve me. I realize now that Integrity is a practice, and not a goal. It’s something I get to engage in daily and consistently, and there will be days I will not be honest to myself, and the best thing I can do is acknowledge it and then dig deeper on why that is. More times that not, it’s because of fear, or self-worth, or another failure. All fear-based emotions. And I get to work on that.

Integrity to myself requires constant work. And you know what? That’s okay. Because it’s about vision over circumstance. Being comfortable being uncomfortable. A choice: Give in, Give up or Push Forward.

Happy Monday

Family, Myself

Happy Birthday Papa

It’s strange to be in his house and not hear his voice or silliness fill the space around us. I also know that spending the day in sadness is not something he would stand for so I will focus instead on celebrating how he lived his life: full of joy, energy and silliness.

I admit it’s not always easy to pretend that it doesn’t hurt that he isn’t here, but spending every moment bemoaning that fact not only dishonors his memory, it neglects the fact that he lived a full life.

The past few days have been hard for me as I stayed home in bed due to the flu, and I just felt him everywhere. Yet it’s also been a great reminder of how much of a legacy he left. So today I celebrate as best I can, and remind myself that I was blessed for how long I had him in my life for, and I get accept it in gratitude.

Happy Birthday, Papa. Sanjay Misses You.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, My Past, Myself

365 Days

And just like that  a year has passed. Papa. I would have never thought I wouldn’t hear your voice again or that not see you comb your hair right before a picture. I hear you in my head. You  enjoyed life, and made it your mission to be silly and make others laugh, and I catch myself doing the same. I refuse to be melancholy or be sad every day because that is not my way to honoring you. It still isn’t easy accepting it, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Each morning in the Gurudwara, I acknowledge that I miss you, and then move forward and keep you in mind as I practice law, and do the things you wished for all of us. I regret that I didn’t get more time, but then again, the time we had been so wonderful that I count myself blessed.

One thing is clear that in the year you have been gone, I am different, but in a good way. Your absence a constant reminder that I get to honor you not drown myself in self-pity. I gotta tell you, it hasn’t been easy. The house of laughter you created had fewer laughs, but we are your children, and we have managed a few. Not much, but a few. And then there will be more laughter, more silliness, more love for music. more Ziba Music because you ensured you left a legacy with your family.

So although it’s been 365 days, not a single one has passed without you in our hearts and minds.

Papa Loves You.

Sanjay Loves You

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, My Past, Myself

Checking In

If you are friends with me on Facebook then you have recently seen an upsurge in my Yelp check ins.I always check in with a tinge of shame and guilt. The shame is usually that I feel as if I am bragging about what a great life I have, and guilt that perhaps I shouldn’t be posting so much. And why Yelp?  First off, it’s because I only check into places I enjoy and want others to have the same experience, and secondly any commentary I put there is because I want the people I am with know how much their company means to. These past few days have meant a lot as I was lucky enough to meet so many I care about.

Then there are also the non-yelp moments where I couldn’t check in.  A beautiful one hour conversation with an old friend in New York.  We have managed to keep going for almost two decades this way. And watching Star Wars on Kodi and then breaking into tears as I missed my father intensely to the self-loathing I feel for not doing more to better my life. The anger from an argument where it felt easier to blame another when in fact, they are a mirror into my life.

So don’t just look at the check ins and picture a wondrous life because the reality is that while the check ins are happy moments, they are plenty of emotional states one doesn’t get to see.

Food For Thought, Journal, Myself

Wait But Why

Arriving back from Jackson, Mississippi late last night, it hit me how it was good to change to your environment for a few days. It is easy to get caught up in the hum drum of daily life, and while that consistency has its benefits, what I found was that with each travel occasion, I had a chance to deepen my love of interaction with others, find new food and stay in moments of gratitude that I have the privilege and luxury of being able to have new experiences.

It is too easy to take for granted the opportunities for connection with others that  you do not see very often. Although I was a relation by marriage to many there, I was made to feel like immediate family and that comfort and care pushed me to want to create more moments and opportunities like this in the future. Also, my crazy desire to try the best food where ever I am also played a big part.

A friend sent me a great article while I was there, and it seemed as if the Universe conspired yet again to let me know Papa looked out for me as it emphasized that we have very little in person time left with loved ones. It is easy to get so caught up in pursuing our financial dreams that we lose sight of the real treasures in front of us. So today, take time to make spending time with loved ones an EMERGENCY. Trust me when I say you will drown in regret if you lose that opportunity/